Genre: Paranormal/Historical Romance
Publisher: Vinspire Publishing
Date of Publication: November 30, 2013
Number of pages: 192
Word Count: 50,000
Cover Artist: Elaina Lee/For the Muse Designs
When we are inexplicably drawn to love and a particular place, is it coincidence, or have we loved before?
Enigmatic and spirited Anna Lucera is gifted with an uncanny sixth-sense and is intrigued by all things mystical. When her green, cat-eyes and long, black hair capture the attention of a young lawyer named Kevin Townsend, a romance ensues which leads them to the hauntingly beautiful region of California's Carmel-By-The-Sea where Anna is intuitively drawn to the Madiera Hotel. Everything about the hotel and Carmel-By-The-Sea heightens her senses and speaks to Anna as if she had been there before.
As Anna's memory unravels the puzzle, she is drawn into a past that's eerily familiar and a life she just may have lived before.
The idea for “A Portal in Time” came from a trip my husband and I took up the California coast to Carmel-by-the-Sea. It was our one year anniversary, and we’d made reservations at an historic hotel. Everything about the lobby of the hotel piqued my interest, and as my husband checked us in, I let my imagination roam, taking in every inch of the opulent lobby with its travertine floors, sand-stone fireplace, and sweeping Mediterranean tiled staircase.
As I walked through the lobby, I pretended I was in my own house. I followed a particular hallway from the lobby where sepia tinted photographs depicted people in period clothing beside horse drawn carriages. Beside the pictures were architectural plans of somebody’s home, and as I looked closely, I realized the hotel began as a private residence.
Walking up the staircase, a wooden cathedral door loomed ominously at the end of the hall. “Surely,” I thought, “this was once the master bedroom.” I considered the position of the room and decided there must be a window that looked out to the sea. Visualizing myself in period clothing, I imagined standing before the window, scanning the grounds below intently.
I believe energy lingers in historic sites, that memory is retained within walls like an indelible record of history. So firm am I in this belief, that on our first night, I tapped my husband on the shoulder at two in the morning. “It’s so haunted in this place, I can’t sleep,” I reported. I ruminated for the following hour, while the story of “A Portal in Time” unfolded in my mind’s eye.
“A Portal in Time” is the story of an imagined life that brought me to that window at the top of the stairs in Carmel-by-the-Sea’s historic hotel. I knew the story could only be told in alternating time periods with an uncanny destination. I wanted to give my readers a paranormal experience, to take them on a journey that could only be reached through a portal in time.
“A Portal in Time”(Vinspire Publishing) is available on Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, Overdrive, and Kobo.
March 18, 1999, West Hollywood, California
“What’s this all about?” Lucia pulled out a chair across from her sister. They sat outside on the sidewalk in front of The King’s Head Café in West Hollywood amidst the hum of traffic and the flow of patrons looking for available seating on Beverly Boulevard. “You sounded funny on the phone.”
“I sounded funny?”
“You sounded mysterious,” Lucia clarified.
“I didn’t want to get into it on the phone. I thought I’d wait to talk to you in person.”
“All right, I’m listening,” Lucia settled back into her chair and looked at Anna expectantly.
“You’re not going to believe this, but Kevin brought up the subject of marriage the other day.”
“Why wouldn’t I believe that? It’s perfectly understandable to me, isn’t it to you?” Lucia laughed. “What did you say when he brought up the subject?”
“I skirted the issue, of course,” Anna’s tone suggested Lucia should know that.
“Wait a minute, did he just bring up the subject or did he ask you to marry him?”
“Well, it seemed to me he was testing the waters, but what he said was, ‘God help me, I’m married to a witch.’ I’m not sure I was supposed to hear it, but that’s exactly what he said,” Anna told her.
“Wait a minute, back up, I’m getting lost. Were you doing something that made him call you a witch or was he just making a general observation because he’s had enough time to realize that you are a little touched in that way?”
“In what way?” Anna sounded defensive.
“Come on, Anna, anyone who knows you knows you’re bent towards the uncanny, and I mean that with nothing but love,” Lucia tried to suppress a smile. “You’re the same way that Mom was—obviously these things run in families.”
Anna felt the immediate tug of her heartstrings at the mention of their mother, who had died of Leukemia two and a half years earlier. Her illness had been a harrowing experience to both her and Lucia, absolutely draining them emotionally for the two years prior to her death. Her slow decline compounded the loss of their father when they were only teenagers and now that both parents were gone, Anna and Lucia only had each other. Anna conjured the memory of their mother’s face, her tall elegance and demure ways and recalled that she, too, had an intuitive ability that everyone who knew her remarked upon.
“I don’t know that I’m anywhere near the way Mom was,” Anna leaned back. “Do you remember how she always knew what we were up to when we were little? There was no point in ever trying to fool her about anything because she always knew the truth.”
“Of course, you’ve always been a terrible liar. Everything you’re thinking is always written on your face. You were the one who always gave us away to Mom, not me,” Lucia reminded.
“That’s not entirely true,” Anna volleyed, “I remember the time you tried to sneak out the upstairs window at night and found Mom sitting on the garden bench under the tree you used because she’d picked up on what you were thinking practically before you even decided to do it. She could just tell by looking at you!”
“You’re right about that,” Lucia nodded. “Mom was something else altogether, wasn’t she? I’m convinced she was clairvoyant. I think she knew how to read us both. I really do miss her every day. I think of her every time I see a sunset, every time I feel the change of seasons in the air, every time I see the full moon. She made such an event out of the little things in life, didn’t she?”
“She definitely did. She placed great importance on ceremonies and symbolism and things like that,” Anna said. “I see so many things the same way she did because she taught us how.”
“I do, too. What she did to the exact spot where Dad got in his car wreck is a perfect example.”
“Well, a lot of people do a similar thing. I see markers on the side of the road all the time. Standing crosses with bouquets of flowers under them at the scene of a fatal accident. It’s a commemoration of a particular place where something significant happened.”
“Yes, but it was so much more to Mom than that,” Lucia reminded Anna. “That’s why she buried the key where Dad got in the accident. Do you recall that night? It was only two days after Dad died, but somehow Mom managed to set aside her grief in order to take care of business. She woke us up after midnight and told us to get in the car because we were going to conduct a ceremony. “
Interview with Anna Lucera from “A Portal in Time.”
Q: How old are you, and where are you from?
A: I’m twenty-six, and was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. I’m one of the few people actually from Los Angeles!
Q: What do you do for a living?
A: I’m a free-lance writer, which means I work for myself. It suits me perfectly because I wouldn’t want to work in an office. I write for magazines such as “Whole Life Times” and “Yoga Journal.” I like writing about ways to live your best life.
Q: What are your hobbies?
A: I have been a student of Ballet since I was six. I love Yoga and Pilates as well. I like to take long walks in nature, and I am a voracious reader. I am also a collector of semi-precious gemstones, such as Amethyst, Citrine, Aventurine and clear quartz. I’ve been collecting crystals for about ten years. I have them all over my apartment, and like studying their metaphysical properties.
Q: What do you like to read?
A: I love books on spirituality, historical fiction, and mainstream fiction.
Q : When you say books on spirituality, can you name a few?
A: Yes, for example, “Anatomy of the Spirit” by Caroline Myss, “A Return to Love” by Marianne Williamson, all the books on “the other side” that John Edward has put out ( I’m fascinated in mediumship; John Holland is one of my favorite writers on the subject), Barbara Anne Brennan’s “Hands of Light,” and I have two copies of the Wilhelm/Baynes version of the I-Ching as well as Carol K. Anthony’s interpretation. There are too many books to name my extensive library!
Q: What was your major in college?
A: Psychology. I wanted to learn everything I could about the mind. I am intrigued by what motivates us as human beings, and especially love the subject of dreams. I still study dreams, and am currently taking a class in developing intuition. I think I’ll always be interested in the mysteries of the mind. I also studied Journalism, which lead to my writing career.
Q: If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
A: Definitely Carmel-by-the-Sea on California’s Monterey Peninsula. I feel inexplicably drawn there. The first time I visited Carmel, I felt as if I’d been there before! The temperature is mild year round, kind of like a perpetual fall season, and there is usually an ethereal mist in the mornings and early evenings because of the marine layer that comes in from the sea. There are pine trees and cypress groves all throughout Carmel, and there is an historic, bucolic feel to the entire area that is accompanied by the incessant, rhythmic sounds from the sea. Carmel Bay is at the bottom of Carmel’s main street. It is a white-sand beach shaped in an arch that lays beneath majestic sand dunes. What I love about Carmel is its residential area: there are many cottages built from the 1920’s through the 1940’s that look like houses out of Grimm’s Fairy tales. All in all, Carmel-by-the-Sea is a magical place!
Q: Where do you see yourself in ten years?
A: I hope to be living in Carmel, California, living in one of its cottages – hopefully with the man I’m dating now! One never knows what fate has in store!
Claire Fullerton is the author of Paranormal/Historical Romance, “A Portal in Time.” Her second novel, “Dancing to an Irish Reel,” set in Connemara, Ireland, will be published in March, 2015. Claire is a contributor to numerous magazines as well as a multiple contributor to the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” book series. She is a multiple award winning essayist, a former major-market radio disc jockey, and an avid ballet dancer. Claire hails from Memphis, Tennessee, and currently divides her time between Malibu and Carmel, California with her husband and two German shepherds!